Hatra, Iraq Hatra was founded by Ancient Arab tribes some time in the 3rd century BCE. A religious and trading centre under the Parthian empire of Iran, it flourished during the 1st and 2nd centuries BCE. Later on, the city became the capital of possibly the first Arab Kingdom in the chain of Arab cities running from Hatra, in the northeast, via Palmyra, Baalbek and Petra, in the southwest.
Statue of a Parthian Hatra king holding a votive figure. Hatra was an ancient city in the Ninawa Governorate and al-Jazira region of Iraq, near Mosul. It was known as al-Hadr, a name which appears once in ancient inscriptions, and it was in the ancient Persian province of Khvarvaran. It was built circa 3rd-2nd centuries BCE and flourished 1st to 2nd centuries CE under the Parthians. Many artifacts and much of the remains of the city destroyed by ISIL
Isis has destroyed countless irreplaceable artefacts and heritage sites across the areas it controls of Iraq and Syria – and some are comparing its assault on human history to the atrocities of Mao and Pol Pot. Are they right?
'City of the Sun, Hatra was the first, and for a very long time, the only UNESCO listed site in Iraq. It is the only large ancient city in the ‘round’ in Iraq. The massive, circular city walls and towers and its inner masonry buildings are a great contrast to the mud-brick sites in the rest of Iraq.' Iraq: the Bradt Guide; www.bradtguides.com
Hatra, the City of the Sun god, and the perfect ruin, or as Arabs say: Hadhar, is one of Iraq's few stone reserved monuments, a site that will be loved unreservedly and at first sight, because of its stunning beauty. It is an ancient Arab city about 80 km to the south west of Mosul and 296 km north west of Baghdad. In many people's opinion its the loveliest ancient monument in Iraq from any period in that country's immensely long history.
Statue of an unidentified king of Hatra holding an eagle--destroyed by IS, March 2015. The worst damage was done to the 2,000-year-old sculptures from Hatra, a city that was once a wealthy trading hub in the desert south of Mosul coveted by ancient Rome. "The damage by ISIS to the artistic legacy of Hatra has been catastrophic. This tragedy is compounded by the fact that Hatrene sculpture has been chronically understudied." Credit Col. Mary Prophit, United States Army. (click through, rw)